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The Djuma Experience in Sabi Sand … from Retief van der Reyden

The Djuma Experience in Sabi Sand
from Retief van der Reyden

I have always been a great fan of the Sabi Sand Game Reserve and have visited on a yearly or even twice yearly basis. For me this has become a pilgrimage in pursuit of big cats – and Sabi Sand can be regarded as THE worldwide Uotopia of leopards. All my previous visits were to the southern and central regions of Sabi Sand where I achieved very satisfying photographic results and had wonderful experiences.

However, this time we decided to try a new adventure in the Tusk Photo Line-up. Tusk Photo recently added added Djuma Camp in the northern Sabi Sand to their options.

What a wonderful destination and awesome surprise!!!!!!!

Firstly, I really like the camp!!!!! Tusk Photo reserved the whole of Vuyatela exclusivley for our group.

The camp is self catering and Tusk Photo supplied all food and drink which was prepared by the Vuyatela chef and staff.

We were accompanied by Tusk Safari host Dawie Jacobs, who is well known at Sand Sand. Dawie also did our whole menu and ‘killed us softly’ with great food and a superb menu. Well Done!

Secondly … our camp had very good lodgings that overlook a floodlit dam with regular procession of game that arrives to drink, relax, or play around the water.

Thirdly, it was a pleasant change to drive some new areas in the Sabi Sand Reserve. On the areas we traversed there are some truly beautiful spots (bordering Buffelshoek/Manyelete), and there are areas with wide open spaces and less dense vegetation. The northern are is a dream to visit, with less traffic, and we never had to wait in line to visit a sightng. Similarly, we could remain as long as we pleased at a big cat sighting without having to make way for waiting vehicles. Our guides were old, very knowledgeable Sabi Sand hands – Taxon and previously Aubrey.

On a similar note, my fourth important note was the lack of time pressure. We could remain at sighting until we were satisfied with our photograhic resulta rather than clock watching …

Lastly, we enjoyed some superb, memorable sightings. We encountered all the usual suspects with regard to big game and plains game. We saw lions on five of our outings, and stayed with one pride for about 5 hours! They were crippled and bruised after a rough night! Another pride was equally obliging and gave us some really good flash, spotlight, and low-angle opportunities.

As always expected in the area, we encountered no fewer than 5 leopards on different occasions, ranging from a large male, some females, and even juveniles. They patrolled, hunted, lounged, or slept. And on one game drive we managed to nail 3 different leopards.

As an added bonus Dawie organised a visit to SafariLive HQ, also on Djuma property, located in the Research Camp. It was very interesting to meet the people and presenters, and we gained an insight into how large their operation really is.

So all in all – thanks Dawie! – and awesome trip to a wonderful new area.
This is a great addition to an already awesome range of products in the Tusk Photo Line-up!!!!!!!!!!
To the rest of the Tusk Photo crew – Wim and Brendon – – Very Well Done!!!!!!!!!!!!

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